The summer temperatures in Palm Desert, California are here and it's HOT outside. Many people have received their second or third summer electric bills – and they're literally breaking out in a sweat over the amount due!
When it's about 110 degrees in Palm Desert, Palm Springs, or Indio, California, it's hot enough for anyone and anything. Learn the best way for you to set your thermostat this summer – even if it's not exactly what you want to hear or you prefer a relatively chilly indoor air temperature.
Making “the case” for a warmer indoor air temperature during the summer rests on three truisms:
The California Energy Commission recommends that homeowners set their thermostat to 78 degrees when they're home and 85 degrees when they're away from home during the summer. Note that this is a better strategy than turning off your air conditioner on 100-degree days – so that you don't return home to indoor air that feels like a sauna, and so that your air conditioner won't have to run as long to cool your home upon your return.
The center's advice is based on the U.S. Department of Energy's often repeated mantra about thermostat controls and saving energy: when you can adjust your thermostat by between 10 and 15 degrees for eight hours at a stretch – higher during the summer and lower during the winter – you can save between 5 and 15 percent on your utility bill. This one adjustment can add up to considerable savings, though it might mean sticking with a minimalist wardrobe during the summer (and reaching for a sweater during the winter).
Admittedly, some people simply do not tolerate warm weather well. And some people suffer from health issues that make a cool indoor air temperature an absolute necessity.
Be sure to make allowances for such conditions and take proactive measures to help you stay cool indoors with or without air conditioning -- and even before the temperature soars to three digits outdoors:
When it's 100 degrees outdoors, you're likely to feel the heat indoors. Ensuring that your home is properly sealed and insulated against air leaks will mitigate your discomfort – and help keep your utility bills in check.